Today, it’s so easy to stay in touch with people, form new connections, and get solutions to our problems. Thanks to social media!
But alongside these benefits, there’s one thing that remains constant, and i.e. Trolling.
Trolls have scourged social media or rather the internet ever since it came into being. And, Facebook and its online communities are no exception.
In 2014, Shalu R Varadkar (who was expecting her first child at that time) was trolled when she enquired about something in a parenting community she was a member of.
“I was startled to see how members of that community laughed at others’ queries and pulled them down. It was not just me, but a lot of other moms who had been a victim to such behaviour in that community,” tells Shalu.
She further adds, “Motherhood is a new experience and we should be supportive. So, I helped a few mothers wherever I could and took a stand for one of them. That’s when other moms contacted me over messenger. In no time, we started chatting and helping each other, creating our own whatsapp group.”
Started out with 50 moms on Whatsapp, Shalu went on to create her first Facebook group: MW-Mommies World (For U & Me), on April 29, 2015.
Today, it connects over 94,000 moms across the globe where they discuss anything and everything related to parenting, without the fear of being judged or trolled.
MW has empowered over 500 mompreneurs and helped them become financially independent. (More on this below)
In the latter half of 2015, MW became a sponsor of a book titled ‘To Cancer with Love’ launched by Manisha Koirala. “It was one of the best moments for me as I did not only get to meet Manisha, but also Jennifer Winget, Priya Dutt, Mahabano Mody Kotwal, and author Neelam Kumar, who gifted a signed copy and thanked me for the association,” says Shalu.
When asked about her second best moment while building MW, she said –
“When I had organised the first ever coffee meet with a few members, one of them came up to me and said she was dying to meet me and it felt like meeting a celebrity. She also appreciated me for my calm and composed nature.”
Two years later, i.e. in 2017, Shalu won the Rising Star India award for her hard work and passion behind MW.
Fast forward to today, she is a successful Community Entrepreneur and the Founder of Solutions Consultant – Events & Digital Promotions, who is managing 13 Facebook groups, a website, and other social media channels like, Facebook page, Instagram, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and Twitter.
Her primary FB communities (apart from MW) being- Mommies and Daddies World, Wow Women, MWCF – Career Finder, MW Handmade Joy Tribe, MW Buying and Selling Corner.
Shalu has collaborated with some renowned brands like Dettol, Pampers, Huggies, Dove, Dyson, MTR Foods, Himalaya, Wooplr, SonyTv, and Phoenix, to name a few.
These partnerships have provided immense value to her community members, allowing Shalu to earn in the process.
Not just that, Shalu is also a brand ambassador for Women’s Rights with Odser.
Excited to learn about her journey? Scroll down as I’ve told all about:
- Shalu’s background and the conversations that keep MW thriving
- The core values of MW
- The ways Shalu is earning through her community and providing value to members
- Things that guarantee maximum engagement in her group
- The reason for MW’s growth
- How Shalu tackles spam
- How Shalu manages almost everything single-handedly
- Shalu’s message for every community admin out there
MW – Everything parenting but not just parenting
Shalu is a Jaipur-based commerce graduate who went on to undertake her first job in Human Resources at the age of 19. As she puts it – HR is her first love!
In December 2000, she started her venture – Solutions Consultant and continued with its operations even after shifting to Mumbai in July 2009.
Six years down the line, in 2015, she created her first FB ever group – MW.
Little did she know that it was the beginning of her journey as a Community Entrepreneur.
And her journey has been nothing less than exhilarating!
“My community Mommies World is a tribute to my father who we lost all of a sudden due to a cardiac arrest in 2015 – exactly 2 days after he met my one month old son. He always wanted me to become a successful entrepreneur,” says Shalu.
About her community – Well, the mommies talk primarily about baby care – health, nutrition, etc. Apart from that, they discuss their personal issues, and seek travel-related suggestions.
“There are two things that we don’t allow – medicinal recommendations and queries regarding home remedies for babies less than a year old,” tells Shalu.
It is these conversations that keep MW engaged.
Have a look at the group’s daily summary below.
If you wish to receive your FB group’s daily updates on email and whatsapp, SIGN UP for Convosight now.
Encouragement and Empowerment are MW’s Core Values
Shalu’s community Mommies World – for U and Me, is all about motivating each other to become a better version of themselves, alongside spreading smiles.
Members constantly help and guide each other, without judging what or how simple the query is.
“That’s what makes our community different from other parenting communities out there. Members can share anything without the fear of being judged or trolled, and seek valuable suggestions,” says Shalu.
Besides that, Shalu is available for her members 24×7, and they can unhesitatingly reach out to her with their problems.
Last year during the pandemic induced lockdown, she encouraged mommies to call their loved ones and check up on them. She also added that she was available for them and would love to speak to them.
She constantly educates them, guides them just like a family member would, and has even counselled a few members.
Sometime back, she went live in the community (surprise live session) and asked mommies – what they do and what their back up plan is, in case things go haywire since life is unpredictable.
After getting the answers from them, she guided all categories of mommies – homemakers, mompreneurs, and professionals, and explained how important having an alternative/backup is, and what it can be for them.
Not to forget, she created an online forum that connected recruiters and job seekers in order to help mommies find relevant jobs for themselves. Now, she has her community MW- Career Finder where recruiters post relevant openings and interested mommies apply for those positions.
It’s certainly a boon for these unprecedented times!
Talking about mompreneurs, Shalu helps them earn by showcasing their products in her community, free of cost on two days, i.e. Wednesday and Thursday.
She even curates paid events for them where they can get a lot more traction and boost their sales. (What and how in the next section)
Before diving into that, I’d like to tell you about the Taare Zameen Par initiative that Shalu has been running since MW’s inception. As a part of it, the community has supported and financed the school fees, daily meals, etc. of 14 orphaned girls. They have been doing this since the time MW came into being.
3 ways Shalu is earning from her community while providing value to members
1. Purpose-led marketing campaigns
With the help of Convosight, Shalu has partnered with brands like Dettol, Dyson, Himalaya, Dove, and more.
In the course of Dettol’s campaign to spread the word about their recently launched disinfectant spray, Shalu posted how she was using the spray in her home – across different surfaces, and how it kills germs.
The post got good response (200 reactions and 32 comments) and helped:
- Brands create awareness about their newly launched product
- Members come across a very useful thing for everyday
- Shalu earn in the process
A win-win for everyone involved!
2. Expert Collaboration
Shalu collaborates with different experts and organises interesting and useful sessions for her community members from time to time.
Recently, she partnered with an expert and organised a yoga session in her community, free of cost for the members.
Such sessions are again, a win-win for all the parties.
We all know the benefits of yoga for the human body, don’t we?
For experts – They get to promote themselves 15 days prior to the session day, with 3-4 posts in the course of that period. Not just in the Mommies World community, Shalu spreads the word on her social channels too like FB page, Instagram, and WhatsApp.
Members also invite their friends and family to the session which means greater reach.
Meanwhile, Shalu is able to earn in the process.
3. Empowering Mompreneurs
Shalu comes up with quarterly events to help mompreneurs get the much deserved recognition and speed up the sale of their products.
Listing them below:
It runs for 3 months constantly where mompreneurs get to showcase themselves as a brand and boost their sales.
Here’s how it works:
- Shalu picks 4 best mompreneurs of her community
- These mompreneurs have to pay nominal charges
- Each of them have to prepare 3 videos (one minute each) which Shalu posts in the community – one mompreneur each week
- In the first month, the video explaining about their product/business/venture goes up
- In the second month, mompreneurs showcase their products in the video alongside telling about the response they got in the first video
- In the third month, mompreneurs thank the members and talk about the upcoming offers on their products
b. Monsoon Mania
It runs for a period of 9-10 days where 25 mompreneurs are selected on a first come first served basis to showcase their products.
They have to post a particular set of pictures along with pre-defined hashtags.
The charges for the same are economical.
c. Seasonal paid events
Lastly, there are other such seasonal paid events like that on Diwali, Christmas, and New Year.
Awesome, right? To know about all the other ways you can earn from your Facebook group, go through this blog.👇🏻
11 ways to monetize your Facebook group
4 things that generate maximum engagement in Mommies World
1. Admin selfies
Whenever Shalu posts her own picture in the community, members tend to shower a lot of love. Her posts do have a message/learning in the caption.
Have a look at the post below where Shalu shared her masked up picture in the community and encouraged members to share theirs. A lot of them posted their pics in a mask in the comments.
2. Kids Contests
Whenever Shalu organises contests for the lovely kiddos of members, they are thrilled to participate in them.
Last year, she organised a kids drawing competition wherein kids of different age groups could participate.
It was in collaboration with the brand Kiddies on Toes and got a great response (65 reactions 168 comments).
3. Member Contests
In 2020, Shalu hosted a huge contest in collaboration with Culinary Culture. The contest named, Meri MAAsterchef, celebrated mothers and their delicious recipes.
As a part of it, members had to post a 1-minute video of their mothers cooking their signature dish and tell what makes it special. While posting, they had to tag the brand and use specific hashtags.
Winners were selected by renowned judges and were rewarded with a cash prize as high as INR 1 lakh.
4. MW Mommie Diaries posts
Just like we maintain diaries to pen down our feelings, Shalu has a dedicated topic MW Mommies Diaries in her community where she shares posts that are special or close to mommy’s hearts.
And these tend to get a lot of engagement.
One such was when she asked mommies about the song they are humming because of their kids. It got an overwhelming response.
If you’re looking for more Facebook group post ideas to engage your members, check out this blog👇🏻
25 highly effective Facebook group engagement ideas
Word of mouth helped Mommies World grow tremendously
“In just three months of starting this community, the members grew to 8000. All because of word of mouth,” tells Shalu.
She further adds:
“Till date, it has played a role in the growth of my Facebook groups. It’s because members are getting value from the group. Had they not, they wouldn’t be encouraging their friends to join it.”
If you are looking for ways to provide value to your members and grow your group, this blog is all you need👇🏻
16 ridiculously simple ways to grow your Facebook group fast
Facebook’s Keyword Alerts is Shalu’s saviour for spam comments
Shalu has marked keywords like mad, bad, crazy, youtube channel, subscribe, bump, below link, etc. in Facebook’s Keyword Alerts as these are spam for her group.
Whenever any member uses them, she is notified and is able to instantly take an action on that comment.
As you can see, she has also added words like infant, toddlers, skin, in keyword alerts as she wants to be notified whenever a member uses them in her community.
To keep things organised, Keyword Alerts of Convosight provides separate cues so that you can list different types of keywords in different sections. When a member uses any of the listed keywords, you are notified on email and on Convosight and can take an action from the platform itself. Check out this blog to know all about it👇🏻
Introducing Keyword Alerts: The foolproof way to stop spam in FB groups
Shalu proudly calls herself a one-woman army
Yes, she manages everything all alone, when it comes to her primary group, i.e. Mommies World – For U and Me.
Be it approving/declining group posts, managing member requests, keeping a tab on spam, organising regular events, or anything else.
It’s all taken care of by Shalu single-handedly.
However, she has appointed 2 moderators each for her other groups – MW Career Finder and Mommies and Daddies World.
They are responsible for:
- Approving/declining posts
- Managing member requests
- Making sure group rules are being followed
- Taking care of spam
If you are looking to onboard Facebook group moderators, but don’t know how to get started, check out this blog👇🏻
Choosing Facebook group moderators: An A to Z guide
Shalu’s message for other Facebook group admins out there!
That’s some nice motivation!
We have our Facebook group, Growth and Monetisation for Facebook Group Admins where Shalu and thousands of other Facebook group admins are constantly motivating each other and discussing ways to grow, engage, and monetise their communities. If you wish to gain some valuable insights, feel free to be a part.
Besides, if you would also like to get your story featured on our platform, please fill this FORM and we will get back to you.
Creating value in the lives of others with my content, little by little.✨
Working at Convosight, I do more than just wrangle commas. I’m passionate about innovating new ways to create super valuable and actionable content about Communities and Community Marketing at large, and sharing it with the right audience.
I also happen to manage a global community of power admins on Facebook, and that’s where most of my learnings come from.
Do check out my latest blogs and feel free to share them! 💛